Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Oogle with Google


There seems to be some technology that may just be hype for now...but here it is. Google has something called Project Glass. They're building a prototype for an augmented reality head-mounted display, which means they're trying to develop glasses that allow you to take photos, identify objects in reality, head's-up display for your calendar, tweets, Facebook status, read text messages and emails...all by looking and using your voice.

If they can make these in prescription-ready glasses in a variety of styles, I think that the curiosity of tech-lovers will cause Project Glass to become a very popular item (just think of the Apple junkies waiting in line at the Apple store for the latest iPads and iPhones). I've already informed the Project Glass team on Google+ that I'd like to be a beta tester (as well as millions of other folks). We'll see if that really happens.

As far as optics, I'm not sure how the technology it projects all of the displays, photos and videos for the wearer to see them. But some information is coming out...

According to well-informed Google blogger Seth Weintraub, Google's Project Glass glasses will probably use a transparent LCD or AMOLED display to put information in front of your eyeballs. It's location-aware thanks to a camera and GPS, and you can scroll and click on information by tilting your head, something that is apparently quite easy to master. Google Glasses will also use voice input and output.

Project Glass makes this guy happy!

The New York Times says that the glasses will run Android, will include a small screen in front of your eye and will have motion sensors, GPS and either 3G or 4G data connections. Seth Weintraub also stated that the device is designed to be a stand-alone device rather than an Android phone peripheral. Project Glass can connect to a smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.0 and communicates directly with the Cloud. There is also a front-facing camera and a flash, but the most recent prototype's screen isn't transparent.

The concept has me excited personally, just to see how it works and its capabilities. But the question is, do I really need something like this? The answer is probably no, because I like my current pair of eyeglasses and my Motorola Photon just fine. Do I really want people's tweets and text messages popping up in my vision every five seconds? It seems that it could be distracting from the actual reality. I'd rather have my phone in my pocket and I'll check out my messages when I'm ready.

Feel free to comment if you have any thoughts!

Dr. Weaver

Monday, May 7, 2012

Allergies are at it again!

Hello everyone,

Well, the grass in my yard finally grew enough to get cut lately. It's early May, and I've only have to cut it 2 times so far! It's been a pretty dry Spring, but the recent rains in early May is making that grass grow like crazy (especially after I did the annual Scott's treatment). Those two cuts were within the past week! But with the growing grass, comes the allergens: grass pollen, tree pollen, flowers blooming. There's a lot of stuff in the air right now.

Regarding the eyes, the main symptoms of ocular allergies are itching, watering and redness. Itching is the biggie! If your eyes are itchy, most likely it is allergies, but other conditions can cause itchy, watery, red eyes: contact lens overwear, blepharoconjunctivitis, viral conjunctivitis, etc.

Oral allergy medications do work well to stifle the sniffles. It works good for anything inside the head: stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, congestion. However, the issue with allergy medications is that they tend to dry out the eyes, which can make your eye allergy symptoms worse. It's best to have something to use directly on the eye if your eyes are suffering from allergies.

The main tip is to NOT rub your eyes. This tends to release more histamine, which causes more itching and's a never-ending cycle. The best supportive therapy is cold compresses 5 minutes at a time on your closed eyelids as much as possible, but I usually recommend 2-4 times/day. Also, artificial teardrops will wash out any allergens from the eyes, which can cause the release of histamine and the itching, redness, watering symptoms. So use artificial tears as needed to help you out.

However, if that isn't enough, there are many over-the-counter allergy drops that work well. The main thing that you want is an anti-histamine and a mast cell stabilizer in an eyedrop. Alaway and Zaditor are two over-the-counter allergy eyedrops that work well, and both are to be used 2 times/day. If that still isn't doing it for you, you may require prescription treatment and a trip to your eye doctor is in order.

Also, remember...other problems can cause itchy, watering, red eyes. So if your symptoms are not getting better with the supportive therapy, make sure to see your eye doctor so that he/she can diagnose your issue and get you on the right track.

Take care,
Dr. Weaver